Gift Edit

The Best Baby Gifts for Their First Christmas

published Nov 2, 2023
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Baby playing with toys on the floor.
Credit: klebercordeiro/Getty Images/iStockphoto

This feature is part of Cubby's Gift Edit, our editor-curated collection of gift ideas. Need more inspiration? Check out all our guides here.

It can be difficult to know what to get a baby for Christmas because they don’t really need a lot of toys or extras. Chances are, they already have almost everything they need. When my kids were babies, I wrapped up diapers and wipes for some of their Christmas presents so they’d have something to open with the rest of the family, but it was always fun to get them some new toys and clothes, too. 

That’s why I curated some of the best first Christmas presents for babies, from newborns to almost 1-year-olds. I don’t think you can go wrong with any of the gifts below (obviously!), but if you notice that their nursery is already filled with them, here are some tips to help. If you’re shopping for a younger baby, look for high-contrast items that are visually appealing to babies as well as toys that are easy to grasp. Older babies will be starting to walk and play with toys more, so look for fun toys that will take them into toddlerhood. For any age, consider some of the more practical items on our list like bubble bath or pajamas. Happy gifting!

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Lalo’s play boxes are tailored specifically to your child’s age, so it’s easy to choose the box that matches the age they’ll be at around the holidays. There’s also a subscription to keep the developmentally appropriate boxes coming. Each box comes with high-quality toys for babies and a play guide for you, so you can help your child get the most out of the box.

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Babies love to grab tags and chew on pretty much anything they can get their hands and mouths on. This tag toy can clip onto your stroller or diaper bag so it doesn’t get lost or dropped on the floor. The toy is available for almost all 50 states, with each version featuring landmarks and pictures of items associated with the state. I have various versions of this toy to represent my home state, as well as others that are important to us as a family.

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The Prop-A-Pillar was one of my favorite items when my kids were babies. There are so many ways to use this caterpillar, from tummy time to sitting up and beyond. The colors are visually stimulating for the baby, and it also comes with an attached teether and mirror.

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Pottery Barn Kids

Baby’s first Christmas isn’t quite complete without a commemorative keepsake. You’ll be able to hang this beautiful ornament on your tree for years to come so you can always remember how tiny they were that first Christmas. You can choose to do your baby’s handprint or footprint, both of which are really easy to make. The mold comes ready to use and air dries once you’ve made your impression.

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I think every baby should have a few Indestructibles books that they can chew, crinkle, and try to rip. My kids have accidentally torn (and intentionally tried to eat) plenty of books, but they’ve never successfully destroyed one of these. Touch Your Nose features high-contrast pictures that newborns will enjoy, and older babies will enjoy being able to both play with and read the book.

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Bubble baths are extra fun for babies. I like the Honest Company bubble bath because it easily makes a big bath full of bubbles, it smells nice, and it’s made without harsh ingredients. You can also go for the fragrance-free version if your baby has sensitive skin.

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As babies near their first birthday, many of them enjoy pulling to stand and pushing things around while they practice walking. It has a brake, which is a unique safety feature that allows you to choose how much resistance they get as they push so it doesn’t go too fast while they’re still unsteady on their feet. And as they get older, this push walker is also ideal for storing their most treasured toys.

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Many babies have at least two teeth by the time they turn one, and they continue to get more throughout their first couple of years of life. This massaging teether is soothing on their gums, and it’s a great way to get them used to feeling something similar to a toothbrush in their mouth.

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Little Sleepies baby pajamas have a cult following. They’re soft, stretchy, and adorable. They also have some features that make life easier for parents, like fold-over mittens and feet, and a two-way zipper. The bamboo fabric is so stretchy that many parents report that their kids can continue to wear these pajamas long after they’ve outgrown the size on the tag.

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If you live in a place where it snows in the winter, your baby absolutely needs a sled for the holidays. This is the one my kids used as babies, and I like it because you can control how fast they go with the pull string, you can buckle them in, and it has an anti-slip seat. It’s ideal for pulling little ones around the yard and letting them experience their first big snowfall.

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This is both a present for your little one, but mostly for parents and caretakers because, unfortunately, babies do get sick, but at least you’ll be prepared with all the necessities. This sick day prep kit includes a snot sucker, a pacifier for administering medication, wipes for boogers, and vapor wipes.

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Stacking cups are a huge hit with the under-1 crowd. They can stack, nest, and practice pouring with them (although you might want to do that last one in the bathtub). When they were babies, my kids enjoyed knocking down my cup towers over and over again.

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Oballs are ideal for young babies who are learning to grab objects. This ball is very easy to grasp, which helps your baby be successful and avoid frustration. Once they grab it, they can shake it around to rattle it and even start work on releasing objects by throwing it (look for that skill closer to their first birthday).

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Fat Brain Toys

Music is so stimulating and enriching for babies. With this piano toy, they can create their own music with an included mallet or by spinning the wheels. It provides great entertainment during tummy time or during seated floor time.

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This first Christmas outfit makes for an adorable photo opportunity in front of the Christmas tree, and the reindeer on the pants makes it especially adorable for babies who are crawling. The outfit features a onesie and matching pants.

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Another great present for both caretakers and babies, the Doona Liki Trike is a good pick if you have a larger budget because it can be used starting when babies are about 10 months, and it will grow with them until they’re 3. With the push bar, it’s an ideal way for them to learn how to ride a tricycle, and when they’re ready, they can ride on their own. It’s an investment gift but one that’ll last for years.